"You don’t take Vicodin because you’re scared. You take it so you won’t feel pain. Everything you’ve ever done is to avoid pain. Drugs, sarcasm...keeping everybody at arm’s length so no one can hurt you…Pain happens when you care. Y-you can’t love someone without making yourself open to their problems, their fears. And you’re not willing to do that." This is quote from the television show House. This is a perfect description of my life. Even now that I am in recovery I still find that I do things to avoid pain. The more I work my recovery program that more I recognize my addictions, or at least I'm able to be willing to admit my addictions.
As I consider my own unbelief and my attempts to avoid pain, it helps me accept other people in their problems. It helps me to step back and not cast judgment towards others or to take offense.
As I am taking step 8--Forgiveness-- and I think about the people that have offended me, and have found sympathy in that there is a good chance that the person wasn't out to hurt me, but to prevent themselves from being hurt. I know what it feels like to be in a self-protection mode, and to act out to avoid being hurt. Maybe I don't need to forgive someone, but instead admit that I was mistaken about my perspective of the situation. Jim has told me several times when I get upset, that they didn't act that way to hurt me. It's kinda funny how he says it...”Do you really think she woke up this morning and said to her self. I'm going to do something really stupid that will have horrible consequences to me, just so I can hurt Tisha.” I hate it when he ask me this in the middle of my tantrum, because it always knocks me back to reality. Every time, I have to answer “No, they wouldn't have thought that.” When I admit, they weren't out to hurt me, my argument falls apart.
I've been taking a deeper look at the things I need to forgive myself for. I have learned through the story of Abigail that Christ is asking me to forgive Him for my sins, my weaknesses, my addictions, and everything that falls into that. If I continue to insist that I pay a higher price, or continue to punish myself for my past actions, then I'm saying to Christ that His atoning sacrifice wasn't good enough for me. That I know better, my plan is better. I fall into the trap of the plan of Satan. I must find a way to come to peace with my past behavior and the stoney heart I've built.
I now have an understanding of the atonement of Christ in my mind. With that understanding I need to welcome it into my heart. I don't believe that I can honestly forgive anyone else of their trespasses against me, or to ask forgiveness of anyone else on my behalf until I can welcome Christ atonement into my heart. Meanwhile, I'm still consumed with avoiding pain.
How does being consumed with avoiding pain prevent me from welcoming the atonement into my life?